New seafood provenance research funding

Karthik Gopi, UNSW PhD student in the lab. Photo credit: Annastasia Bedford The Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment has awarded $202,500 under its Traceability Grant program to the ANSTO-led Seafood Provenance Project involving the UNSW Aquaculture Research Group, the Sydney Fish Market, Macquarie University and the National Measurement Institute.   Adjunct Associate Professor Debashish Mazumder (Project Leader) and Associate Professor Jes Sammut, an Honorary Research Fellow at ANSTO and leader of the UNSW Aquaculture Research Group, welcomed the grant. 

 The seafood provenance research involves developing and testing nuclear methods and mathematical models to determine the provenance and production methods of seafood. The latest grant will help fund research on handheld xray fluorescence technology as a tool for wholesalers, retailers and compliance officers to quickly screen fish. 

 Karthik Gopi, a UNSW PhD student and AINSE Residential Scholar, is working under the supervision of Jes Sammut, Debashish Mazumder and Professor Neil Saintilan on the application of nuclear technologies to the provenance of fish and prawns. The new grant, along with funding from ANSTO’s internal funding program, will build on Karthik’s research and help expand the program and support more students at UNSW and Macquarie University, co supervised by ANSTO. 

 “The collaboration with ANSTO and our research partners is benefiting the local seafood industry and strengthening consumer trust. The tools we are developing will also support the aquaculture nutrition research led by UNSW in partnership with ANSTO and the aquaculture industry in the Asia-Pacific. The partnership with the seafood industry has ensured that our methods are practical and meet the needs of the end users,” said A/Prof Jes Sammut.

 “Our research partnership with the UNSW Aquaculture Research Group and other agencies will help protect actors along the seafood supply chain. As we progress we will able to increase the efficiency and accuracy of the seafood provenance tools,” said Adjunct A/Prof Debashish Mazumder.

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